Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Marathon Accomplished

Well, folks, I can now officially put "Marathoner" in my list of adjectives to describe myself. That's right, on Sunday, November 16th, 2008, I ran 26.2 miles in an official marathon race. Here's a rundown of the day:

  • Awoke early to eat breakfast and drink water and gatorade.
  • Got in the car to make the trek to downtown San Antonio.
  • Found myself in heavy traffic on my way to the shuttle site.
  • 40 degrees outside when I got out of my car
  • Got on the shuttle bus at 7:40
  • Race time was 7:30.
  • Arrived at the start village around 8:00
  • Jumped in with corral 16 to begin race around 8:15
  • My corral was supposed to be 6
  • For the first 6 miles, I found myself in the midst of people running a much slower pace than I was hoping to run
  • Mile 8: the crowd thinned out a bit and I was able to find a stride I liked
  • Mile 11: The half marathoner's peeled off. I was feeling good
  • Mile 13.1: Crossed the marker at 2 hours 1 minute, only a couple of minutes off the pace I wanted to run and had been training for
  • Mile 16: Begin to feel tired in the legs...a half mile after passing up free goo packets.
  • Mile 18: OH MY GOSH!! Why won't my legs keep moving? Am I overheated or chilly? Beginning to lose more time as my pace lessens.
  • Mile 19: Use the goo packet I have in my pocket. Drink plenty of water with it. Feel good for about a mile.
  • Right before mile 20: Took a break to, um, powder my nose. :)
  • Right after mile 20: Is it getting dark out here? Does anybody else feel really chilly? I sat down and then laid down on the cool, shaded sidewalk to allow the "I'm gonna pass out" feeling to subside
  • Miles 21-25: A great mixture of running and walking. I couldn't ever quite get back to a comfortable pace.
  • Mile 25-26: I decided to kick it into gear and run the rest of the way, however slow that running might be. As I came into the final stretch, I cued up the music from the battle scene in The Gladiator.
  • Mile 26-26.2: No lie, the final .2 miles were a steep hill the finish line. I mean, seriously? :) At that point I was cruising along to the music from Gladiator, hearing the crowd cheer, and holding back the weeping that I was doing as I thought about accomplishing the marathon.
  • Finish Line: As I crossed the final checkpoint and finish line, I put my arms in the air and thanked God for seeing me through.
Final time (according to my Garmin Forerunner that auto paused during the time on my back): 4:54:05.

Official Time (according the chip strip on my foot): 5:04:41

Yes, for all you math whizzes out there, it took me almost 3 hours to finish the second half of the marathon as opposed to the 2 hours it took me to finish the first half. Kind of a bummer, but, as one person said, at least I didn't end up with a gash in my face because I kept running to the point of passing out.

Around mile 22, I was cursing myself for attempting such a feat, but as I came up on mile 24, I realized that I was going to finish, and that while it didn't go exactly as I had planned, I was still going to attain the status of marathoner.

Will I ever run another one? At mile 22, I would have said, "HELL NO! NOT IF YOU PAID ME!" Now, after a couple of days of recovery and reflection, I think I might. Not anytime soon, mind you, but maybe in a couple of years. My goal would be to do it with more success.

For now, I'm just recovering and drinking plenty of water.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for me, texted me, called me, e-mailed me, facebooked me, and generally sent well wishes my way.


Anonymous said...

Awesome! Good Job!

Heather said...

hurray! congrats on a job well done. never in my life could i ever run a marathon. it just wouldn't happen.

Second Thought said...

congratulations!! what a huge accomplishment!

PS- amanda black (from candler) ran in that same marathon!

Jerilyn said...

Three cheers for you!! Just awesome, Alan.

bsmith said...

Nice work on the marathon! I am in awe of your will power and determination. Hope you are well. Any trip to Cola-town planned?